Drills, Firefighting, Survival Zone

Firefighter Down: Cardiac Arrest Drill

Issue 5 and Volume 170.

By Glen Beasley It is becoming increasingly evident that firefighters are at a much higher risk for cardiovascular disease than workers in any other profession. Researchers continually describe fighting fires as physiologically high risk and suggest that firefighters be treated more as industrial athletes than traditional firefighters. I understand and endorse the best practice of prevention through good health, exercise, effective standard operating procedures, and personal protective equipment; however, the reality of the job, specifically the time and resources needed before fire departments can produce and maintain a healthy workforce, has led me to ask myself, “How can we prepare for the worst if a firefighter collapses and goes into cardiac arrest within the fire building?” This question has been asked by many other firefighters as well because preparing for the worst allows for an effective and a timely response to any situation. A study conducted in Amsterdam that included…

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